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Achieve sustainable tourism and hospitality.


Drive responsible and inclusive economic growth and community development in tourism and hospitality industry

Tourism activities contribute approximately 10% to global GDP creating millions of jobs and underpinning the growth in worldwide travel and hospitality industries. The number of international tourist arrivals has grown to reach 1.5 billion tourists in 2019 and is expected to increase to 1.8 billion by 2030. In addition, the bulk of all tourism is actually domestic, accounting for almost 85% of global travel. Given the economic significance of tourism, it is little surprise that there is a wealth of literature highlighting various impacts of tourism at various scales including positive and negative impacts.

Considering these impacts, sustainable tourism attempts to strike a balance between the economic, environmental, and social-cultural benefits (positive impacts), and the costs (negative impacts) of tourism development. The study and analysis of sustainable tourism occupies significant attention in the literature, in particular prior to COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the impacts of the climate crisis, various unsustainable approaches, and practices, and overtourism, and tourism scholars lead such research because we can no longer ignore the environmental, socio-cultural, and political injustices and implications, wrapped up in our decisions and entitlement to travel.

Due to those impacts, various responses such as re-defining tourism, centering community tourism, and focusing more on conserving the environment, nature, and heritage through tourism have been discussed among academics and practitioners. In addition, it was realized that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can serve as a global framework to reduce the negative impacts and lead to more sustainable future for tourism. The COVID-19 has put a pause on tourism, and this pause has allowed us to witness the ‘healing’ of tourist destinations, especially environmentally sensitive areas. The pandemic induced acute drop in tourism, while economically devastating, has resulted in a positive impact on environmental issues. This highlights the dangers of runaway development of tourism destinations and speaks towards an urgent agenda to manage tourism in a more sustainable manner as we exit this pandemic and beyond.

This lab aims to undertake research, create awareness, train stakeholders and advocate for a tourism model that takes into account environmental, economic and socio-cultural issues inherent in each location and country and addresses the needs of visitors, industry and communities that host them.


Challenges to be addressed/

Solutions to challenges:


  1. Improve responsible behavior of tourists

  2. Accelerate sustainable tourism products

  3. Elevate inclusive and equitable employment

  4. Promote community development and community-based tourism

  5. Strengthen heritage conservation and promotion through heritage tourism

  6. Combat negative environmental impacts from transportation, accommodation, and other tourism services

  7. Facilitate application of advanced technologies and service innovations



  1. Responsible Tourism for Inclusive Economic Growth (Challenges 1 to 3)

  2. Tourism for Social and Community Development (Challenges 4 to 5)

  3. Tourism for Environmental Protection (Challenge 6)

  4. Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Hospitality and Tourism (Challenge 7)


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